Let’s talk COVID real estate


Lynda Cox

What a change since my last article written when we were in lockdown.

In April the number of real estate transactions was down 55% compared to the same time in 2019. In May things started to slowly pick up with only a 44% drop in inventory. But, then we saw a big change, the June numbers indicated a complete turnaround, still down compared to 2019 but by only 2%. Wow. The lockdown was over and people were buying again. Sellers were becoming a little less reluctant to list.

Then came July and August, making up for our lost spring market. We saw a jump of 19% in homes sold compared with 2019. Sale Price increases followed, jumping close to 20% with approx. 57% of properties selling in multiple offer situations compared to approx. 33% in 2019.

Why the increase in pricing? Demand plain and simple. We have a very high number of buyers in the market compared to the number of homes actively listed. Why? Record low mortgage rates, decreased debt thresholds, people needing 2 home office spaces and more room for the family etc. We believe that prices will continue to rise and we also predict continued robust activity with regular ebbs and flows. “What we need to be cognizant of is that Ottawa is a capital city and a growing city that until now has been well-insulated when it comes to resale prices. If you look at other larger cities, they have gone through this already. We are just in the early stages, with no end in sight at this point,” according to Deb Burgoyne, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

The real COVID threat created change: some good; some not so good.

Sandy Hill is so much quieter these days. Only a few Ottawa U. faculties are back in class. Many student rentals sit empty. Might this put some pressure on the rental market driving rents lower? It has already closed some local bars, restaurants and businesses and winter is coming. What is ahead? Does anyone have a crystal ball?

COVID protocols are still in place with mandatory disclosures, mask wearing and hand sanitization. Buyers are encouraged not to touch any surface when visiting a listing. Open Houses have not made a comeback yet.

So…yes this is a very good time to sell and capitalize on your investment especially if you are not needing to buy. You know what they say SELL HIGH—BUY HIGH. Listing inventory continues to rise. In August there were at least 300 more residential listings and 175 more condo listings added to the Ottawa inventory compared to last year at this time. Ottawa Real Estate Board President says we have not seen listing number increases like this since August of 2015. Perhaps a balanced market is coming. That certainly would be a relief for buyers.

Sandy Hill Real Estate update
May 1 – September 1,  2020

Active listings, 5; Conditionally sold,  1; Sold, 26 — with 3 selling over asking ranging    from $5K to $102K over list price

Active listings, 37; Conditionally sold, 3; Sold, 58 with 5 selling over list price ranging from $100.00 to $80K over